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Friday, February 13, 2015

Grants Worth £110,000 Will Boost Arts and Economy in Dumfries and Galloway

From DG Unlimited

The year ahead will be an exciting one for the arts in Dumfries and Galloway following the announcement that 19 fabulous projects are set to share £110,000 from the Regional Arts Fund. Competition was intense with over 30 applications being made to the fund which is jointly financed by Dumfries and Galloway Council and Creative Scotland through the Place Partnership. Allocations have been made on the recommendation of DG Unlimited. The fund aims to deliver and increase the impact of arts projects and boost the economy.

Councillor Tom McAughtrie, Chairman of Community and Customer Services Committee, said: “The council is delighted to offer this opportunity to increase the positive impact of the arts across our region through our Place Partnership with Creative Scotland and DG Unlimited. Arts projects like these enrich lives, build stronger communities, attract tourists and help create career opportunities. Our region is renowned for its creativity and this is something we are keen to support.”

Enclosure. Robbie Coleman. Part of Sanctuary and the Dark Outside 2014 event.

Among those who have been allocated funds are The Environmental Art Festival Scotland, which wants to build on the success of its 2013 event, and Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival, which aims to support venues, promoters and artists across the region through a touring network and create more opportunities for people to experience top quality arts performances in their local community. And there is support for Wigtown Book Festival’s literature development work.

There are also projects to encourage young people to get involved with the arts and to support a range of community-based events and activities. Support is being provided for many different kinds of project, from traditional music to dance, theatre and film. Four examples are:

Wide Open: £3,800 to support Sanctuary 2015, a 24-hour event using digital and sound works, radio transmissions, digital video and performance in the Dark Skies Park which has been created by artists Jo Hodges and Robbie Coleman.

Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festival: £2,115 to develop audiences and provide free tutor-led instrument workshops in the local community.

Moffat Book Events: £4,085 for Tolstoy and Scott-land. To expand the 4th international literacy conference being delivered in partnership with the All Russia State Library for Foreign Literature and other key partners.

Whithorn Trust: £3,500 for Dig TV, an archaeological film project for young people.

The Jaywalkers perform at the 2014 Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festival. The Festival has been supported to develop audiences and deliver instrument workshops in the community.
Philip Deverell, Director of Strategy at Creative Scotland, said: “The Place Partnership with Dumfries & Galloway Council and the creative sector in D&G has already led to inspiring and innovative work. The Regional Arts Fund will support a wide range of projects, from professional development for creative people to new work and festivals. We look forward to seeing these projects come to fruition and wish the successful applicants well.”

The Regional Arts Fund is worth £110,000 and funding is available under six strands – reflecting the priorities agreed by DGU’s regional Arts Hub. These are:
Art and Place
Youth Arts/Early Career Development
Supporting Practice Next Stages
International Ambition - Reaching Out and Bringing In
and Programme Enhancement and Audience Development.

Alan Thomson, Regional Policy and Development Co-Ordinator for DG Unlimited, the independent charity which champions the region’s arts, said: “Dumfries and Galloway is earning a national and international reputation as a powerhouse of creativity. We are attracting people to live, work and visit the area because there is so much to do and see, and such a vibrant creative community. The projects that are being funded will give many more people from every part of the region the chance to get involved with the arts. They also help us nurture talented young people and set them on the right course for positive and fulfilling careers.”

Jan Hogarth, of arts production company Wide Open, said: “It’s great that funds are being allocated in this way – it marks out Dumfries and Galloway as an exciting and creative place. We are particularly delighted at the funding to support a third annual Sanctuary event. Jo and Robbie have succeeded in creating an event that is hugely innovative and attracts people from all over the country to the region’s Dark Skies Park.”

The value of applications totalled more than £260,000 and many were of a very high standard, presenting the three panels which carried out the scoring with a tough set of decisions. In most cases the funding allocation depends on the applicant meeting agreed terms and conditions.

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